It hasn’t been my intention to write a blog like the one below but bear with me on this one. It’s just some ponderings on recent events and thankfulness for some special people in my life.
A few months after I was born I was christened in the Anglican Church. My parents chose 3 Godparents, as is customary for a daughter, one Godfather and two Godmothers.
For every child to be baptized there shall be not fewer than three godparents, of whom at least two shall be of the same sex as the child and of whom at least one shall be of the opposite sex…The godparents shall be persons who have been baptized and confirmed and will faithfully fulfil their responsibilities both by their care for the child committed to their charge and by the example of their own godly living. (Church of England Book of Common Prayer, 1662)
My Godfather didn’t play much of an active role in my life but my two Godmothers were amazing. Both Claire and Jackie knew and lived for Jesus, were active in their local churches and I know prayed for me regularly.
Although I didn’t live near these ladies, Claire lived in Wales and Jackie in Scotland, they were actively involved in my life. As a child this meant remembering me at Christmas and birthdays and as I got older, it was in the regular letters and occasional phone calls supporting and encouraging me. I know I’ll never fully know the power of their prayers for me. These women took their God-parenting role seriously, capital G!
Here’s a short excerpt of the baptism/christening service from the C of E book of Common Worship: Baptism and Confirmation, 2000:
Parents and godparents, the Church receives these children with joy.
Today we are trusting God for their growth in faith.
Will you pray for them,
draw them by your example into the community of faith
and walk with them in the way of Christ?
With the help of God, we will.
In baptism these children begin their journey in faith.
You speak for them today.
Will you care for them,
and help them to take their place
within the life and worship of Christ’s Church?
With the help of God, we will.
For many I think the act of christening your child is just a tradition or perhaps a superstition. For example one lady I worked with once told me that she had her children christened so that they had a name in heaven (?!). No idea where she got that from. For others it’s a promise before God and others to live their lives as parents and Godparents in a way that shows Jesus to the child. We haven’t christened/baptised Miriam as we believe this is something she should decide herself when she is old enough to understand the wonder of full-immersion baptism in response to her own personal commitment of faith in Jesus. However, we have publically dedicated her to Jesus, promising to raise her as the Bible instructs us, love and pray for her. Mim also has four wonderful Godparents, capital G! Men and women who love Jesus, are involved in their churches and whose lives are living examples of how imperfect they are yet how perfect Jesus is.
I have been so blessed by two wonderful women, who 30 years ago promised to pray for me, be an example of those who are in God’s community, walked with me in Jesus’ footsteps, cared for me and encouraged me to find my place in Jesus’ beautiful bride, the Church. I can safely say that although they weren’t perfect, they took this promise seriously, lived their lives for their God and were huge examples to me in their lives and in their deaths.
About two weeks ago Jackie went to enjoy eternity with her Saviour, joining Claire who passed away while I was at university. What a grace to know that I will see them again.
Thanks ladies. Enjoy eternity and I’ll be seeing you!